The Care and Keeping of Tarot Cards

Tarot decks are an investment. They can sometimes be a pricey one – I’ve seen decks going upwards of $500.00. As with any collectible or financial investment they should be cared for. Each deck is unique and evokes different feelings, would it be too much to say they are my children?

When I get a new deck I immediately take it out of the packaging if it comes in a standard cardboard playing card box. I store my decks in fabric pouches. The boxes themselves I put on display on my bookshelves and the decks go down in drawers. This saves wear on both the decks and boxes. Should I ever decide to sell a deck I want it to be pristine. Taking the decks in and our of the boxes will produce corner and edge wear over time. Also there is something I think elegant or mystical about taking out your deck during a reading and it coming out of a lux pouch. If the deck comes in a nice sturdy box that just screams presentation I’ll leave it in and on my bookshelf.

At the moment I have nothing out. All of my things are boxed away or shoved away in drawers untidily. I’ll be leaving for Oregon in a couple of weeks and my living situation has been quite fluid since the house remodel has moved towards completion. I look forward to having proper shelf space again.

Below are some tips and considerations in the care and keeping of your decks. Maybe you will find some little gem of information that you haven’t considered.

  1. Be mindful of what you put on your hands.
    Lotions and the natural oil on your hands can wear the cards down over time. Have you ever seen a deck of cards that were missing that sheen of a new deck? Be cognizant of what you have on your hands before handling. You may even want to have a soft cloth on hand to wipe your hands off before touching, especially if you know you have recently applied lotion. Also be mindful of what you have around your decks. My mother in law knocked over a glass of water I had once next to my working space and got water all over my deck! After that I do not allow any glasses to be set on my working space.
  2. Shuffling can be dangerous.
    Shuffling cards wear them down over time. They also can bend the cards over time. I have several decks that I have had for several years and they don’t lie totally flat from wear. I’m not a heavy shuffler. I used to be until I started seeing the toll it was taking on some of my decks. If you are a heavy shuffler this is something to keep in mind. You can go online and find so many resources on different methods for shuffling cards to lessen the bending. Below is a good thread on the new defunct Aeclectic Tarot forum on shuffling

    Tarot Forum Dot Net Shuffling Thread, Okay or not Okay to Riffle Shuffle?

  3. To cleanse or not to cleanse.
    Some people insist they have to cleanse their cards after every reading. Personally I do not. Sometimes I will set my deck out under the full moon if I’m working something deliberate. If you feel better cleansing your cards with crystals after a reading go ahead. You could also light some sage to cleanse them. I do this if I do feel the need to clear the air. The important thing is that there are no hard rules on cleansing the energy associated with you cards. Do whatever feels right to you. I know many people who wrap their decks up with a cleansing crystal after use, some even sprinkle some blessed moon charged water on the wrapped up deck. The most important thing here is you do what feels right for you. Its your deck, you work with it enough to know when it needs to be cleansed and what energy is hanging onto it.
  4. What they are stored in counts.
    Just as the handling of your cards can cause wear so can what they are stored in as well as their external environment. Taking them in and out of the packaging or having them clanking around unprotected will make them wear faster. You will see the edges of the cards start to look worn over time. The most effective way I have found to keep my treasures safe is to store them in fabric pouches. I just buy them off Amazon. You can find all kinds and sizes. You can also add pins, buttons, and charms giving them your own bit of flare. If you don’t have a pouch to put them in you can even just wrap them in pretty fabric. Also, there are no rules for Tarot so feel free to come up with some creative ways to store your cards! You could even buy a small wooden box from the craft supply store and stain it then line it with a soft fabric. The possibilities are endless!

The above picture is not pretty, but its what I’m working with. I said everything was pretty haphazardly thrown into a drawer. I like to deliberately choose the pouch to store my decks in based on the feeling and color scheme I’m drawing off it.

I leave for my one way journey to Portland on the 12th. Follow me on Instagram because I’ll be sharing photos of my journey. As it gets closer I get more nervous. I can’t believe at this point I’m a week out! Eeek!

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